Low: Boston Somerville Theatre

Low: they've got a track on the new GAP ad, you know...

Low have more in common with the GAP than just having their song in a commercial. It’s the understatedness and the pared down focus on ‘basics’. It’s the harmonizing and blank-backdrop style. It’s that everyone in the room is scarved, jeaned, or corduroyed. It’s the frighteningly effective impact of their minimalism. It’s that those three little letters can stand for so much more.

So call tonight the ‘GAP Love’…er ‘Low Love’ campaign, because it’s Valentine’s Day, and ribbed red sweater or not, lead singer/guitarist Alan Sparhawk seems to be in the mood. Don’t worry, it’s what you’d expect of Low, just with a twist. The spartan song, the poetry-short lyrics, the faint harmonies and subtle nuances are all here, just more loved-up. “I’m no Stephen Merritt, but I’m going to squeeze in as many love songs as possible,” Sparhawk says, slipping into the whispery warm tones of old

favorite, ‘Two Step’.

“This is a love song, so if you want to kiss…”, Sparhawk smirks, as if the sound of he and his wife, singer/drummer Mimi Parker spooning their intimate, quivering high-harmonies together for a song called, ‘Closer’ weren’t permission enough. For the audience, rapture has set in, and if everyone’s chins weren’t touching the floor, they would surely aim their chins at each other. The only problem is that every bewitching Low-brand song is unfolded, refolded, and stacked in the backroom with such uniformity, that the lull of samey-ness could set in.

Luckily, this season Low isn’t all soft muted pinks and cashmere this season. No, fresh for spring they’re offering a bit of black leather. With the just-released ‘In Metal’ and ‘Dinosaur Act’, Sparhawk and bassist Zak Sally blow the ashy, glowing embers of Low’s standard slow and silent routine into full-on brushfires, cranking the knobs from four to (what must be) eight before nestling back into the quiet comfort of their trio of tiny amps.

So a bit of new stuff to wear out, a heap of old standards for comfort and the promise that new surprises will soon be in store. Everyone in…

Ben Wolford